Fortum Circo® Handle is a door handle supplement, which revolutionizes opening doors in public places: it allows you to open any door with your arm, without touching them with your hands, thus helping avoid infections.It is made from 100% recycled Fortum Circo® plastic. It embodies what innovations are about: seeing issues and using familiar things to solve them in novel ways. Fortum Circo® Handle is also truly easy to use and extremely useful, especially in the post-Covid world.
Clean-energy company Fortum is also the leading producer of recycled plastic in the Nordics. They collect waste plastic from both consumer plastic packaging waste and industrial waste, grind it and manufacture Fortum Circo® plastic pellets, a versatile recycled raw material for nearly any plastic products.
In its home market Finland, Fortum is only known as an energy company. The brief was to raise awareness about Fortum Circo® plastics and to enforce the perception of Fortum as a circular economy company.
Originally, the brief was met with two ideas which both involved a presence in large global events in 2020. As Covid-19 hit the world in spring 2020, it was soon evident that the whole campaign had to be rethought in radically new circumstances. The original campaign ideas involving entertainment felt not only impossible to execute, but also too light in approach.
Describe the idea
Fortum quickly realized one issue it could help through innovation: better hand hygiene on surfaces in public places. Especially door and cabinet handles in stores get touched by thousands of clients every day, making them hotspots for infections. Electric doors with motion detectors would have solved the problem, but switching every single door and cabinet in every store would have taken months (if not years) and cost billions per country.
That’s why Fortum created the Fortum Circo® Handle: a simple add-on suiting all types of existing door handles, allowing people to open doors with their arm, minimizing touching the handles with their palms and fingers. It not only prevents infections, but also helps disabled, who have trouble grabbing handles or lack finger strength, open doors more easily. Fortum Circo® Handle is manufactured from Fortum’s 100% recycled Circo® plastic, using no virgin materials.
What were the key dates in the development process?
31.3. Idea presented to the client
2.4. Idea chosen, design process started
10.4. First model versions 3d-printed, testing started
15.4. Right version chosen, 3d-printing of the pilot batch started
19.4. Piloting batch installed into stores
20.4. Piloting started
25.4. & 3.5. User interviews
10.5. Piloting ended
25.5. Negotiations with mass-production partners started
15.6. Mass-production partner (Fiskars) announced
1.7. Mass-production for global distribution (by Fiskars) started
Describe the innovation / technology
Fortum Circo® Handle is a simple add-on for different types of door handles (freezers, refrigerators, etc…) inside grocery stores. The Handle is made from three parts: the handle, the connector and the insert to fit different types of doors. By attaching the add-on to the existing handles, the user can open the doors without touching the handle with their fingers or palms.
The Fortum Circo® Handle was taken to be mass production by Fiskars. So making this design giant a client of Fortum and continuing the spread of the product itself.
Describe the expectations / outcome
The projects’ outcomes were perfect for Fortum. Making the design giant Fiskars an active client with a product that was originally designed and created by Fortum is a good commercial match. Through Fiskars the mass production is done with ease as they already have production lines to match this type of production.
By demonstrating how through design, innovation and using recycled plastics - a product from Fortum - we can help people in these times of pandemic we also demonstrated to Fortum’s clients that their Circo® -plastic is a great product for producing everyday products.